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Where the Wild Cherries Grow by Laura Madeleine

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Where the Wild Cherries Grow is an absolutely stunning tale. Two points of view separated by fifty years guide us through this story of friendship, love, and determination. Bill Perch is tasked with finding out what happened to a lost family member of a client so they can sell land to a developer. He travels to the childhood home of Emeline Vane where he finds her diary. He becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to her when she disappeared in 1919 and saving her home.

In addition to Bill's journey of self-discovery and Emeline's fierce struggle to survive, the writing is melodic and beautiful. The author writes with such enthusiasm for Catalan food that I can't help but seriously dream of a trip to the south of France. The way she ties together the ocean, the land, and the seasons together to make beautiful dishes is unlike anything I've ever read before. This one is definitely going on my list of favorite books for 2018.

100/5 Stars

I was given an copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My 10 Favorite Books of 2017

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I read a lot of great books last year but honestly it wasn't difficult to narrow down my favorites. The long list had just 14 titles and it was even easier to cut out four more. The order below just happens to start with the most recent read and the links are either to my review on SQ or the Amazon listing when my review isn't available.

1. A Million Junes. A great magical realism read.

2. A Treacherous Curse. The third book in the Veronica Speedwell Mysteries, one of my very favorite series.

3. La Belle Sauvage.  His Dark Materials rebooted!

4. Lillian Boxfish Takes A Walk. Surprisingly simple and wonderful.

5. From Here to Eternity. Quite possibly my favorite book of the year.

6. Shakespeare and Company. Love Paris and books? The background of Shakespeare and Company is a really neat one.

7. The Portrait. Newest (for the US) Antoine Laurain book!

8. Down Among the Sticks and Bones The third in the Wayward Children series. A must-read.

9. Strange the Dreamer. WOW WOW WOW WOW this one seriously took me by surprise.

10. Dragonwatch. The first in a follow-up series to Fablehaven. Yes, please!

Want to follow along as I read my favorites for 2018? Be my friend on Goodreads.

Whidbey Island

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Last November we took a day trip to Whidbey Island. It was a rainy day but since we spent most of it driving it didn't bother us too much, plus rain seemed to stop for us when we did happen to leave the car for a quick walk somewhere. We took the ferry at Mukilto (right by where we got married) and drove north, stopping at Fort Casey, Christopher's on Whidbey, Deception Pass State Park, and the Deception Pass Bridge. The scenery up there is so beautiful and the trip is a great day trip from Seattle at any time of the year.

Wednesday Whimsy #15 - Brooklyn in Love Blog Tour

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Bonjour and happy Wednesday! For this WW I am happy to be a part of the blog tour for Brooklyn in Love, the latest book by Amy Thomas.

I followed Amy's blog, God I Love Paris, while she was working there for a few years and I enjoyed reading her first book, Paris, My Sweet. Her blog posts from her time there were short but thoughtful and Paris, My Sweet gave readers a deeper background into her stay in the City of Light.

Brooklyn in Love picks up after Amy moves back to NYC. She takes us through dating, meeting her husband, and adjusting to being in a long-term relationship after several years of flying solo. Their adventure of buying an apartment in Brooklyn sounds a lot like what we went though buying a house in Seattle (spoiler: not fun) and it was a welcome change to hear about the less glamorous side to having a baby.

Accompanying her personal milestones are culinary-themed stories of restaurants she takes us to along the way. We learn about Blue Hill (by Chef Dan Barber), the legendary home fries from HOME/MADE, the Il Buco restaurants, and more.

I am not a huge fan of New York City but this book makes me thinks there's something more to it after seeing it through Amy's eyes. The in-love feelings she has for her city can only be contagious and this book will definitely be shelved along side my other favorite memoirs.

This book came out yesterday, February 6th. Congratulations Amy on another wonderful book!

4/5 Stars

I was given a copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


About the Author:
Amy Thomas is a New York–based writer who, for two lucky years, got to call Paris home. In addition to working as a copywriter in advertising, she writes about food, travel, design, and fashion for various publications such as the New York Times, National Geographic Traveler, Town & Country, and Every Day with Rachael Ray. She is slightly obsessed with sweets.

Wednesday Whimsy #14

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Bonjour! Happy Wednesday and Happy (belated) New Year. With how busy the holidays were I have not put much active thought into the Wednesday Whimsy posts. Now everything is so slow that I'm looking forward a little too much to making a quiche later in the week. Though honestly I'd look forward to that on a busy week too.

Book T.V. Show
I recently finished the Netflix show Call My Agent (Dix pour cent in France). I kept coming across it being recommended on social media but the description of it didn't sound like something I would be into. I gave it a shot and was hooked by the second episode. I had a bit of a hangover when I finished season two and definitely recommend this one.

Links 
One of my favorites, Jeanne Damas is the coolest, most beautiful French girl in France right now. I feel like I need a deep breath after even silently reading that long title.

An older (but still relevant) article on how to look French. Will there ever be too many of these? Non!

25 Things You Absolutely, Positively Have to Do in Paris. Okay, okay, keep your pants on.

In case you always finish listening to your monthly Audible credit early on and can't find a good audiobook through the library like me, here are 6 Cool Must-Listen Paris Podcasts.

Social
I discovered Coralie on Instagram a few weeks back and I love her hair, style, and cats. She just has this really fun vibe that I enjoy. She also has a blog but I don't read it often because I'm not that good with French and website translations leave much to be desired.

Merci et see you next week!

A Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne

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I cannot say that I am a fan of the fantasy genre but when Kevin Hearne announced this series I knew I had to give it a shot. I really love The Iron Druid Chronicles; there are eight books out right now (ninth and final is coming out this year) and each book is such a strong contribution to the series, which is unusual to have every book be great when you get above four or five books.

A Plague of Giants opens with a tidal mariner saving her city, Pelemyn, from an attack by Bone Giants. Other cities along the coast are not so lucky. A bard comes to Pelemyn to tell the events leading up to the attack from 10 points of view, plus we have narration from the historian tasked to write down the bard's tale. I took my time reading, consulting the map and mini bio's of each POV as needed, and was quickly sucked into the world of Teldwen. If you love a good story, I urge you to give this book a read. The second book is set to come out in 2019.

Not only is Kevin a fantastic writer, but one of the nicest people you could ever meet. Here's the link to appearances- it would be the perfect opportunity to get one of his books signed. Enjoy!

5/5 Stars

A Million Junes by Emily Henry

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A Million Junes is one of the best books I've ever read. It was as unique as you can't imagine and features romantic, family, and platonic love. It is about processing your family history and your personal future. It is about figuring out what you want from life and deciding how to live it. It is about making the best and hardest decisions rather than the easy ones. If you like magical realism and feeling things when you read books, this one's for you.

I received this book via Book of the Month. If you're interested in joining, use my referral code here.

5/5 Stars